Why do some Catholics sail past pro-llife threads?


#1

As I look around the different threads on CAF I am dismayed and stunned a the fact that threads dealing with the holocaust, liturgy, OF vs. EF, scandals and controversy get hundreds of posts. Threads on abortion are luck if they reach 100 posts. There is currently a thread on the Manhattan Declaration that may have 30 posts, if lucky.

The concern that I raise for the attention of my brothers and sisters on CAF, which I hope that you will take with you into your homes and communities, is that the interest of too many Catholics and the priorities seem to be misplaced. With all due respect to the people who want to discuss the merits of Latin in the mass and Gregorian chant, It is very difficult to understand how a person who sails past a topic on abortion and on to a discussion on Latin in the Liturgy can assume that God is honored.

I rarely rant on these threads. But the Gospel of Life is the one commitment that I have made for my entire life. As a Franciscan Brother of Life, it is my vocation to remind people that there is no higher moral concern in the world than the sacredness of life. God is not pleased with the most beautiful liturgy, nor is his glory honored, if we do not engage the world’s attack on the life that he created and that he gifted to his only begotten son.

The same Lord Jesus Christ, who gives up his life at Calvary, on every altar around the world, is the one whose existence is threatened by abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and euthanasia. Christ, the son of the living God became man to elevate human nature to the dignity of sonship. We cannot turn our backs on the dignity of man now. We cannot tire of fighting for the dignity that God felt proper to assume for himself. We cannot sail past discussions and issues regarding human life and adore God as he gives up his human life on the cross at every mass in the world. What value does Christ’s life have, if human life and life issues can be ignored by Catholics for the sake of the more interesting and hot topics on the table today?

What kind of spiritual life are we living, if we do not stop every time the issue of life comes up? Comfort can only come from holding fast to the most fundamental moral truth of all, human life is sacred. The Eucharist demands that we who subscribe to and profess that Christ voluntarily gave up his life on the cross be attentive to all the issues that threaten man’s freedom to give his life as Jesus did. You cannot lay down your life, if others deny you the right to live it.

There are many interesting threads on CAF. But it would seem to me that the most interesting threads should be those that deal with life issues. Those threads should be bursting, then go on to the other stuff that interests us.

Let us pray that all of us will become more sensitive to the importance of life issues and are more willing to sacrifice our entertainment and our attention to other things, to attend to the life of the vulnerable.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#2

Thank you for your honesty and truth. Godbless you!


#3

[quote="JReducation, post:1, topic:177367"]
As I look around the different threads on CAF I am dismayed and stunned a the fact that threads dealing with the holocaust, liturgy, OF vs. EF, scandals and controversy get hundreds of posts. Threads on abortion are luck if they reach 100 posts. There is currently a thread on the Manhattan Declaration that may have 30 posts, if lucky.

The concern that I raise for the attention of my brothers and sisters on CAF, which I hope that you will take with you into your homes and communities, is that the interest of too many Catholics and the priorities seem to be misplaced. With all due respect to the people who want to discuss the merits of Latin in the mass and Gregorian chant, It is very difficult to understand how a person who sails past a topic on abortion and on to a discussion on Latin in the Liturgy can assume that God is honored.

I rarely rant on these threads. But the Gospel of Life is the one commitment that I have made for my entire life. As a Franciscan Brother of Life, it is my vocation to remind people that there is no higher moral concern in the world than the sacredness of life. God is not pleased with the most beautiful liturgy, nor is his glory honored, if we do not engage the world’s attack on the life that he created and that he gifted to his only begotten son.

The same Lord Jesus Christ, who gives up his life at Calvary, on every altar around the world, is the one whose existence is threatened by abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and euthanasia. Christ, the son of the living God became man to elevate human nature to the dignity of sonship. We cannot turn our backs on the dignity of man now. We cannot tire of fighting for the dignity that God felt proper to assume for himself. We cannot sail past discussions and issues regarding human life and adore God as he gives up his human life on the cross at every mass in the world. What value does Christ’s life have, if human life and life issues can be ignored by Catholics for the sake of the more interesting and hot topics on the table today?

What kind of spiritual life are we living, if we do not stop every time the issue of life comes up? Comfort can only come from holding fast to the most fundamental moral truth of all, human life is sacred. The Eucharist demands that we who subscribe to and profess that Christ voluntarily gave up his life on the cross be attentive to all the issues that threaten man’s freedom to give his life as Jesus did. You cannot lay down your life, if others deny you the right to live it.

There are many interesting threads on CAF. But it would seem to me that the most interesting threads should be those that deal with life issues. Those threads should be bursting, then go on to the other stuff that interests us.

Let us pray that all of us will become more sensitive to the importance of life issues and are more willing to sacrifice our entertainment and our attention to other things, to attend to the life of the vulnerable.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Hiyas Brother JR.:)

I saw it here **Re: Religious Leaders Call for Civil Disobedience if Laws Don’t Respect Faith

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=399861

**


#4

This is a good question. Perhaps people just want to avoid controversy; at least serious controversy. Taking a position on Latin in the mass or the use of Gregorian chants should not be as emotionally charged as what we should be doing to curb abortion.


#5

[quote="JReducation, post:1, topic:177367"]
As I look around the different threads on CAF I am dismayed and stunned a the fact that threads dealing with the holocaust, liturgy, OF vs. EF, scandals and controversy get hundreds of posts. Threads on abortion are luck if they reach 100 posts. There is currently a thread on the Manhattan Declaration that may have 30 posts, if lucky.

The concern that I raise for the attention of my brothers and sisters on CAF, which I hope that you will take with you into your homes and communities, is that the interest of too many Catholics and the priorities seem to be misplaced. With all due respect to the people who want to discuss the merits of Latin in the mass and Gregorian chant, It is very difficult to understand how a person who sails past a topic on abortion and on to a discussion on Latin in the Liturgy can assume that God is honored.

I rarely rant on these threads. But the Gospel of Life is the one commitment that I have made for my entire life. As a Franciscan Brother of Life, it is my vocation to remind people that there is no higher moral concern in the world than the sacredness of life. God is not pleased with the most beautiful liturgy, nor is his glory honored, if we do not engage the world’s attack on the life that he created and that he gifted to his only begotten son.

The same Lord Jesus Christ, who gives up his life at Calvary, on every altar around the world, is the one whose existence is threatened by abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and euthanasia. Christ, the son of the living God became man to elevate human nature to the dignity of sonship. We cannot turn our backs on the dignity of man now. We cannot tire of fighting for the dignity that God felt proper to assume for himself. We cannot sail past discussions and issues regarding human life and adore God as he gives up his human life on the cross at every mass in the world. What value does Christ’s life have, if human life and life issues can be ignored by Catholics for the sake of the more interesting and hot topics on the table today?

What kind of spiritual life are we living, if we do not stop every time the issue of life comes up? Comfort can only come from holding fast to the most fundamental moral truth of all, human life is sacred. The Eucharist demands that we who subscribe to and profess that Christ voluntarily gave up his life on the cross be attentive to all the issues that threaten man’s freedom to give his life as Jesus did. You cannot lay down your life, if others deny you the right to live it.

There are many interesting threads on CAF. But it would seem to me that the most interesting threads should be those that deal with life issues. Those threads should be bursting, then go on to the other stuff that interests us.

Let us pray that all of us will become more sensitive to the importance of life issues and are more willing to sacrifice our entertainment and our attention to other things, to attend to the life of the vulnerable.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

Dear Brother Jr,

I must live in a bubble.:o
I did not even know what the Manhattan Declaration was all about. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Yes "let us pray...."

Peace and God bless


#6

all I can say is that when I see a thread I’m not shy about commenting, but honestly I don’t come across that many. They seem to be scattered about the forums.


#7

It seems like pro-life threads are everywhere. Even in topics that start out about something completely different, people will bring up abortion.

Something that I find sad is when people who are pro-life turn on others for not being sufficiently pro-life.

For example, there was a thread recently where someone was angry at hearing someone refer to people as “pro-choice.” The person using the pro-choice language was against abortion, but in the view of the person posting wasn’t “pure” enough since he used language the other side favored rather than calling them “pro-aborts” or something similar. Personally, I don’t see how offending other people will lead to the kind of dialog that might change hearts and minds. But maybe I’m a Pollyanna to think that hearts will change at all.

Largely it seems to me that discussions of abortion raise the same points but never lead to consensus. One side focuses on the baby, sometimes to the exclusion of the mother, while the other side focuses on the woman, usually to the exclusion of the baby. Somehow we’ve got to get everyone to recognize that there are two people involved (not to mention the father, but the fathers seem mostly to be ignored by everyone).

Feminists for Life uses the motto, “Women deserve better.” I saw a message posted that lambasted this phrase since, in the poster’s opinion, women don’t deserve anything. His attitude was essentially “they made their bed, now let them lie in it.” Seeing pregnancy as a punishment that women deserve for being sexual is hardly pro-life.

I find all of this so depressing. I work on a university campus and abortion is accepted as a given. I’ve been in discussions with students where they’re surprised that anyone could even question it. When you say something as gentle as “there’s a life being lost when a woman has an abortion” they look at you as if you just grew another head.

If I sail past pro-life threads it’s because I don’t have anything to contribute them, they have nothing to contribute to me, they depress me, and/or they frustrate me.


#8

[quote="crazzeto, post:6, topic:177367"]
all I can say is that when I see a thread I'm not shy about commenting, but honestly I don't come across that many. They seem to be scattered about the forums.

[/quote]

You wont find many here in the Spitiruality section, but right now, there are 12 threads on abortion in the Social Justice section.


#9

Dear SuscipeMeDomine,

I have experienced some of the same things you have mentioned in your post. That is why I have taken to trying to defend All Life to the best of my ability through God’s grace and guidence looking to His Church first. It is my understanding that the Church is taking a stand for All Life. I am just begining to understand this more deeply.

Please Br Jr do you have any further insight into this that you could share with us?

Always praying and pondering,


#10

top 10 reasons I skip most pro-life threads

  1. they are on the wrong forum
  2. they post links not to news stories but to websites with an agenda either for or against the issue at hand. posters should go to those sites, find the original news story, and post that link
  3. the level of uncharity among participants escalates faster here than in any location save the traditionalist forum
  4. ditto the failure to follow forum rules
  5. shortly into the thread somebody is going to disprove the notion that there is no such thing as a stupid question
  6. IMO the reason pro-life activists have failed to make impact either politically or culturally is a disunity in purpose, strategy, tactics that can only be explained in terms of the demonic–and this conviction is only strengthened in these fruitless discussions, which raises my blood pressure to dangerous levels.
  7. There is more appallling ignorance of basic biology, medical science, our nation’s politicial system, without even touching Catholic teaching, on this issue displayed here than in any other forum, save that for parenting and family life.
  8. Most original posters on pro-life threads do so in an attitude of tossing down a gauntlet or challening someone to a duel, rather than in a spirit of inquiry, education, or heaven for bid, true evangelization on the gospel of life.
  9. Each thread will eventually degenerate into a whirlpool of like minded posters congratulating each other, after everyone else has left in disgust. very boring reading
  10. what else is there to say? what part of “Thou Shalt Not Kill!” don’t you understand?

#11

Br. JR, thanks for the excellent post. I serve as the Pro-Life chairman for my Knights of Columbus Council, and I can tell you that I come up against hurdles everyday. It is amazing that many of these hurdles come up within my own parish, and even within my own K of C council. It amazes me also, that so many Catholics just don't seem to notice what is going on in our world.

Just this past weekend, I went to a Men's Retreat where close to 200 men gathered to hear Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers talk. His website is auremcordis.com/ in case anyone is interested. The highlight of the weekend for me was when he said that we as Catholic men must demand that our priests and deacons preach the truth from the pulpits. Our Pastor was right there in the room when he said this. Now, we are fortunate to have a really great Pastor, but to be honest, we don't hear much about defending life in the homilies at our parish.

This got me to thinking that much of the problem is that most of the preaching done in our church across America is watered down. Our priests as a group are not preaching the things that we need to hear. Yes, we have some really good priests and bishops. Here in Phoenix, we are very blessed to have Bishop Thomas Olmstead who is very outspoken on this topic. But in general, the church overall, is lacking.

Deacon Harold said that we men need to start speaking out, and that we need to lead those around us to have a better understanding of the teaching's of our church. He spoke specifically on abortion, pornography, and contraception when referring to the truth.

Also, the Manhattan Declaration is an important step from our church leaders in the right direction. Thanks for mentioning it.

Anyway, thanks for posting this.


#12

Thank you for raising this issue Brother. Let us never become dulled to the genocide, let us never shirk from taking a stand.


#13

I personally usually skip past the pro-life posts because they’re generally frustrating and boring, and because there seems to be an increase in hostility among many posters when someone even begins to sound like he leans in a politically-left direction. Its frustrating to be accused of being pro-abortion simply because one isn’t republican. It is also frustrating to read post after post decrying the evil of abortion, and then read the same posters refusing to even consider avoiding giving their financial support to companies that support abortion, as happened on the “Walmart” thread, and as I’ve seen in reality many times, with people who refuse to give up Starbucks, or Walmart, or other abortion funding companies. It’s draining and disheartening, and I feel like being pro-life is an easy out for too many Catholics who find it easy to say they are against abortion and assisted suicide, but who lack courage or conviction enough to let that actually affect
how they live their lives.
I think the pro-life community needs to get over talking and signing petitions and start living as if they really believed that abortion is murder, and those people who finance it, perform it, and fight for it, are financing, performing, and fighting for murder. But I don’t see that happening in pro-life threads, I see, as someone said earlier - a lot of people congratulating each other after driving all the real discussion away.

Sorry if I sound especially harsh, I think it’s a good question, I hadn’t really thought about why I avoid those threads, but I certainly do.

blessings,
Masha


#14

I don't think it's due to a lack of sensitivity to this most vital of issues; it's that, as puzzleannie said, what more is there to say if one can't grasp the truth? I don't remember the last time I posted on a pro-life thread, but that doesn't mean that it's not lying heavy on my heart or the hearts of others who don't respond. It's not on the boards that we must stop, but on the front-lines of off-line life and in our prayer.


#15

It’s wonderful to see so many responses in just one day. Before I proceed to speak about a spirituality of the Gospel of Life, which is what we must all be living, allow me to share something that happened to me today. As a Franciscan Brother of Life, my entire life is dedicated to doing penance for the sins against the vulnerable in the name of those who do not do penance. Along with this life of austere penance and privations that we live, we also preach, teach and lead. Since I’m dying of cancer I get to do the light work :D

One of my duties is to teach a class on Fatherhood to men who are expecting babies. One of the men, age 19has been attending my classes. He and his girlfriend are expecting their first child, after they decided against abortion. She’s Catholic. He’s not. But I’m praying for his conversion. During one of our classes he invited me to come to the hood and share my teaching with his homies. He was sure that they needed to hear it. He guaranteed that they would listen. They either have children, are expecting children or have procured abortions for their girlfriends and wives.

This afternoon, I went out with him. You have to understand that this is a rather seedy neighborhood where drive-by shootings are a daily occurrence and people hand you free samples of drugs. We arrived and met a few guys at the corner, four to be exact. Apparently he had told them about our brothers and about our work, because they were waiting for me. They had pretty hard faces and did not seem to be very interested in hearing what I had to say, except that they had to abide by the code of honor of the hood, “The friend of my brother is my brother.”

After a few introductory and polite questions we got into an earnest conversation about the feminization of men in modern society and how men have lost their drive to be husbands and fathers, but want to remain in a perpetual state of adolescence. I always begin with the feminization of men. This gets everyone’s attention.

To make a long story short, I arrived there at 3:30 and left the hood at 7:30. I stood on the same corner for four hours. The group grew from four to more than 13 at some points. There were many questions about all aspects of parenting and relationships between men and women. One young man even asked about celibacy. He had no clue how anyone could live without sex. We spoke of drugs and raising children, crime, domestic violence, and of course abortion.

We even had a few good laughs because I called out some of the guys for giving me BS. I told them that I was not impressed and suggested that they save it for the judge the next time they were in court. There were young men in this group who have been in and out of jail for violence, rape, drugs, stealing, DUI and other things that I can’t remember. Only one had finished high school.

At one point I turned to one of the men and suggested that he put his baby up for adoption. He asked me why. I responded, “Why would you want a child to grow up in a home with someone like you?” You could hear a pin drop and N thought of an answer. He suddenly turned around, with very teary eyes and said, “I don’t want my son to grow up with someone like me.” Then he whispered, “Brother, I need to change, don’t I?” I simply embraced him and said, “You’ve just turned the first of many corners.”

What most impressed me was God’s presence in these men. Under the sin, guilt, anger, pain, loneliness, despair, lack of self-esteem, aggression, and emptiness, there was Jesus Christ. I could see him and hear him and I’ll tell you how.

Remember that I said that this is a neighborhood where drive-by shootings are a common occurrence. The boys (19-26) formed a ring around me. Some looked outward as other faced me, in the center of the circle. I quietly observed as they discretely changed places to take turns to hear me and ask questions while others listened. Who else takes such good care of a an unworthy street preacher, except God?

This is the spirituality of the Gospel of Life. We need not be afraid. God will be with us, as he promised. Sin shall not prevail against truth. Truth, when spoken with joy, a sense of brotherhood and gentleness, eventually finds its way into the most darkest corner of man’s soul. I can prove it again. The boys want me to come back. When I told them that I did not know if I could, because a) I have to get permission from my superior to go out and preach and b) I’m dying and can only take one day at a time, they were upset. They promised me that I would not die yet and they suggested that I tell my superior that they wanted me to come back. They were sure of that my superior would grant the permission. Their confidence in these two simple facts: I would be around longer and my superior would grant permission for me to preach and teach them again, is my evidence that truth can find its way.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#16

I ignore most pro-life threads, for the reasons puzzleannie gave above. I also have a few other reasons.

Many threads have links with graphic pictures in them and posters don't always point that out beforehand. I do not want to see them- I already know what aborted babies look like. Seeing them again won't make me more pro-life- it will only make it more difficult for me to eat, sleep, and concentrate on whatever else I have to do that day.

I also am involved in many things and these forums aren't exactly a priority. When I come here, it's because I have a little down time (a rarity these days), and I want to read/write about my faith. I tend to look for the things that interest me most.

I don't like politics, and I discuss pro-life issues in person quite often. Since politics often find their way into conversations about pro-life issues, I've had enough of both of those topics by the time I get around to coming to the forums.


#17

can only take one day at a time

I ask the others who post why they move on…If you don’t tell us kids ] today…will you have tomorrow to do so?

Yes, Kids are listening…I’m one

Whooo whioooo I just posted my 501 post


#18

Just about every Catholic is against abortion. That's one thing we all agree with. Hence, not any controversy or argument.

The threads that get action are the one's where folks go after one another hammer and tongs. The threads where people all agree are dead in the water, day one.


#19

With all due respect Middleman, you are quite wrong to say that just about every Catholic is against abortion. Perhaps most who come here are against it, but in the real world outside of these forums, it’s quite a different story.

In my work as the pro-life chair for my K of C council, I come across plenty of Catholics who aren’t against it. It’s really quite sad to be honest. Many voted for the current president who we all know is probably the most left leaning pro-choice president ever elected. They voted for him anyway because they thought he would bring “change”. They chose to overlook his stance on abortion, instead placing other issues in front of the abortion issue. That is contradictory of Catholic teaching.

Either way, we’re in a lot of trouble as a society. I do agree that some of the threads on abortion become quite rude and are often not worth the time to post. But there are many good threads posted that simply get glossed over.


#20

The challenge is not about debating abortion, but developing a true Gospel of Life spirituality. In my experience dealing with many Catholics: lay, clerics and religious, there is a lack of a Spirituality of Life. Interestingly enough, Spirituality of Life is not a new concept. It is already part of Judeo-Christian mysticism. But many 21st century Catholics are unaware of it.

I remember when the Charismatic movement first surfaced. Many people thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. I say this with all due respect to the spirituality of the movement. But what the movement brought was a renewed awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in daily life. It was not a discovery of something that we didn’t know. But for millions of Catholics it was a renewed awareness of a reality that is very much a part of our faith and should be part of our prayer life. The same applies to the Gospel of Life spirituality.

God not only created all life, but he protects life. God protects the life of Cain by placing a mark on his head so that no one would kill him. He spares Isaac’s life. He spares the lives of the Jews as they cross the Red Sea. He spares David’s life. Jesus spares the life of the woman caught in adultery. If we examine the scriptures very carefully, God is always protecting the dignity of life. Let us prayerfully examine why others, in the scriptures, die at the hand of God. They die when they threaten or interfere with God’s justice. The message revealed to us through scripture is that God protects the dignity of man, while the unjust man, the persecutor of his brothers forfeits his life.

The saints understood this and thus they gave their lives for their brothers and sisters as an act of perfect charity. Some were martyred, some suffered great illnesses that they offered up for the life of others. Many did not suffer martyrdom or great health problems, but spent their lives in service of their brothers and sisters. Even the contemplatives who never left their monasteries or those who were parents, husbands and wives and never left their homes, such as Monica, gave their lives for others. They united their lives to Christ on the cross for the sake of others. This is the spirituality that we must embrace and promote.

Man cannot live for himself. As Thomas Merton once wrote, “No man is an island.” If we are to reach the heights of prayer, holiness and union with God, we must do so through union with others, especially the most vulnerable members of society. Our lives of prayer are incomplete when we fail to see the interconnection between us and others. We must pray that God will grant us the grace to see that “I am my brother’s keeper.” What I am not is my brother's judge.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


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